Bill Clinton: Why doesn’t anyone believe we were poor?

posted at 8:01 pm on June 24, 2014 by Noah Rothman

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has had a rough time of it ever since she asserted that both she and her husband were “dead broke” and “struggled” after leaving the White House in 2001. “A few weeks before they left the White House, the Clintons were able to muster a cash down payment of $855,000 and secure a $1.995 million mortgage,” Politifact observed. “This hardly fits the common meaning of ‘dead broke.’”

Clinton might have taken the public backlash over this minor gaffe in stride, but she didn’t. Speaking with The Guardian over the weekend, Clinton again reasserted her credentials on the issue of income inequality. “They don’t see me as part of the problem,” she insisted of those concerned with the growing income gap in the United States. “Because we pay ordinary income tax, unlike a lot of people who are truly well off, not to name names; and we’ve done it through dint of hard work.”

This statement, too, roiled even Clinton allies who were forced by pangs of conscience to note that the Clintons have been taking advantage of financial planning strategies that only the wealthiest Americans use to avoid paying their full freight (a tax burden they believe others should pay, by the way).

You could be forgiven for thinking the Clintons are thin-skinned because, speaking to Meet the Press host David Gregory recently, former President Bill Clinton came to his wife’s defense and asserted that it was factually accurate that his family was financially broken in the wake of his impeachment.

“It is factually true that we were several million dollars in debt,” Clinton said. “Everybody no assumes that what happened in the intervening years was automatic. I’m shocked by what’s happened. I’m shocked that people still want me to come give talks.”

“She’s not out of touch,” Clinton added of his wife.

He would not go so far as to say criticism of his wife’s comments has been unfair, but he did say that the focus of the public debate should be on his wife’s favored policies and not her identity.

“I think I had the lowest net worth of any American president in the 20th Century when I took office,” he offered, unsolicited. The former president closed by saying that the “real issue” facing presidential aspirants should be whether you are out of touch because you are rich, not simply your current net worth.

The instinct among Democratic politicians to one-up each other by inaccurately asserting a claim to poverty is an inexplicable one. They are sacrificing authenticity for the sake of appealing to the Democratic primary electorate. However, as demonstrated by a variety of the most successful politicians that party has ever produced, the Democratic electorate is apparently sincerely interested in just who the poorest in their ranks is.


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Keep digging.

rjh on June 24, 2014 at 8:04 PM

Keep digging.

Pork-Chop on June 24, 2014 at 8:05 PM

“I did not have sexual relations with that woman.”

rbj on June 24, 2014 at 8:05 PM

You don’t often see the Big Dawg putting both of his feet in his mouth.

myiq2xu on June 24, 2014 at 8:06 PM

Embrace the suck Bill!

can_con on June 24, 2014 at 8:08 PM

The Clinton-sponsored car has spun out and is heading for the wall!………. OH! That`s a hard crash!

ThePrez on June 24, 2014 at 8:11 PM

The same reason nobody believed you when you said ” I did NOT HAVE SEXUAL RELATIONS with that woman.”

portlandon on June 24, 2014 at 8:12 PM

Their excuses are poor, I’ll give them that.

Flange on June 24, 2014 at 8:12 PM

It’s simply because they have a reputation of lying…and making millions and millions of dollars making speaches and writing books and buying homes and living like royalty. That’s why. Duh. Geez, Bill, really?

scalleywag on June 24, 2014 at 8:14 PM

Bill Clinton is missing the point. She is in trouble for claiming to understand the common man’s plight, based on her financial situation. Anyone can see they are well off regardless of temporary debt.

cimbri on June 24, 2014 at 8:16 PM

Why just yesterday, Bill was seen on the street corner in downtown Chappaqua, Wayfarer cheaters at his brow, saxaphone case open at his feet, coins and dollar bills in it, as he riffed on Mix-a-lot’s “I Like Big Butts” for the meager crowd of latte-sippers.

Hard times, man. Hard times.

M240H on June 24, 2014 at 8:17 PM

Mythbuster tonight, were the Clinton’s poor?

Bubba Jeff spent a fortune paying off rape victims and buying hookers.

PLAUSIBLE!

hawkdriver on June 24, 2014 at 8:18 PM

This man, Bill Clinton, is a man that’s disconnected from reality. He is astonished that the public ignores his self imposed reality that he is important in the reality of the the reality of life. He is a lying and egotistical person that is blind to the facts of life; as well as his wife.

mixplix on June 24, 2014 at 8:19 PM

The DONORS, Bill, the DONORS have been pouring millions into your campaigns, her campaigns, your “charity” org, your PACs, there’s a never ending list of the ways you and your wife have been accepting millions of dollars from various individuals and corporations. It’s downright insulting for your wife to insist she’s faced any sort of hardship. Give us a break.

scalleywag on June 24, 2014 at 8:20 PM

Hard times, man. Hard times.

M240H on June 24, 2014 at 8:17 PM

lol

hawkdriver on June 24, 2014 at 8:20 PM

, as he riffed on Mix-a-lot’s “I Like Big Butts” for the meager crowd of latte-sippers.

Hard times, man. Hard times.

M240H on June 24, 2014 at 8:17 PM

Except unlike Mix-a-lot, Bill most certainly can lie.

Flange on June 24, 2014 at 8:21 PM

It’s TEA Time in Mississippi! Click my name for my take.

kingsjester on June 24, 2014 at 8:21 PM

Chappaqua for starters Mr. President…only the wealthiest 1% can afford this zipcode. Nice try though

justonevictory on June 24, 2014 at 8:22 PM

Wow, he’s aging poorly. And needs some better fitting dentures.

Midas on June 24, 2014 at 8:22 PM

Hard times, man. Hard times.

M240H on June 24, 2014 at 8:17 PM

:)

scalleywag on June 24, 2014 at 8:23 PM

Why doesn’t anyone believe we were poor?

I believe that they were poor. Bill was a poor President and a poor liar. Hilary was a poor Senator, a poor candidate for President, and a very poor Secretary of State. Everybody happy?

ElectricPhase on June 24, 2014 at 8:23 PM

Bill Clinton: Why doesn’t anyone believe we were poor?

Maybe because the only politician in America consistently proven to be a bigger liar than you or Hillary is Barack “get me some coffee” Obama???

oscarwilde on June 24, 2014 at 8:23 PM

I seriously doubt they have ever worried about where money for the rent was coming from. They’ve never had to live on Ramen noodles. They’re white trash but not poor white trash.

Dan_Yul on June 24, 2014 at 8:24 PM

Except unlike Mix-a-lot, Bill most certainly can lie.

Flange on June 24, 2014 at 8:21 PM

I. Cannot. Believe. I. Did. not. Think. That. Throughhhhh

Awesomely hilarious. Thank you.

M240H on June 24, 2014 at 8:25 PM

Washington Thinskins

dont taze me bro on June 24, 2014 at 8:26 PM

They are sacrificing authenticity for the sake of appealing to the Democratic primary electorate.

One has to *have* something before one can *sacrifice* it.

Midas on June 24, 2014 at 8:26 PM

Almost all of their supposed post Presidential debt was legal fees racked up during their various legal and impeachment difficulties. Since most of those attorneys were hard corps Democrat loyalists, I’ve wondered whether many or any of them ever got paid. I seem to recall reading somewhere a couple of years ago that Hillie was still carrying substantial campaign debts from 2008. It seems one of the reasons for their burgeoning wealth is that they have set a debt payment schedule for themselves that is glacial, and that’s glacial without any phony Global Warming to goose up its pace.

djaces on June 24, 2014 at 8:28 PM

Just spit balling here, but I would guess that Harry Truman was probably lower on the economic ladder than the Clintons, when Truman assumed the presidency, after the death of President Roosevelt.

Also, despite being a 5 star general, not sure Dwight Eisenhower was in any way, shape or form wealthy when he was elected president. Military pay has improved a lot since then, but I don’t think any generals of the WWII era got rich in the military … though a lot of generals were wealthy in their own right (McArthur’s family was wealthy, his financial status was in spite of his military service, not because of it).

Grinch on June 24, 2014 at 8:29 PM

I’m shocked that people still want me to come give talks (at over $200,000 a pop)… aw shucks.

Ya’ll want to give lil ol me and the wife that kinda money just fer talkin? Really? Well alrighty then, but let it be said that we earned every penny with a dint of hard work – cause all this here talkin’ is hard. But we ain’t tard yet.

Hill60 on June 24, 2014 at 8:29 PM

Did he wag his bony finger?

SouthernGent on June 24, 2014 at 8:29 PM

Just so you can figure it into the discussion, Bill was getting $190K a year pension and $150K to set up a staff to take care of them with that dropping to $60K for the years after that.

Dusty on June 24, 2014 at 8:33 PM

This lying ex President has no idea of manners or protocol of the office of the POTUS. Neither does Obama, a pity considering the importance of the office.

mixplix on June 24, 2014 at 8:33 PM

Someday historians will reveal how corrupt the Clintons were..as they will with the Bush family.

They will have to devote many chapters on the Obamas also…

All have two things in common..money and special interests.

Neither gives a damn about middle class American taxpayers.

Fat cat political donors on one side and teat sucking voters on the other.

Wake up America!

celt on June 24, 2014 at 8:34 PM

Well, I guess if you can afford to drag a five dollar bill through a trailer park, you can also afford the fallout. If it floats, flies, or…..

WryTrvllr on June 24, 2014 at 8:35 PM

Bill Clinton: Why doesn’t anyone believe we were poor?

Because, like Obama, we know you’re LYING because your lips are moving!

GarandFan on June 24, 2014 at 8:36 PM

“Dead broke” to most people is not making the rent or being able to go to the dentist or not being able to fix their car or being unemployed or having to apply for food stamps. Until you’ve been in their shoes, just shut up. Mr. and Mrs. Clinton.

scalleywag on June 24, 2014 at 8:37 PM

Hey, Bill, if you could have just controlled yourself in the Oval Office and kept your distance from a certain very young intern, you wouldn’t have had all those massive legal bills at the end of your term. For some reason you think we should sympathize with the two of you because you’re a dirty old man? HaHaHa! Nice one!

ldenton1 on June 24, 2014 at 8:37 PM

This proves without a doubt that liberalism is a mental disorder. Why would these idiots be touting who the least successful is? It’s nuts.

Ta111 on June 24, 2014 at 8:41 PM

Better put some ice on that, Mr. Clinton.

Mr. D on June 24, 2014 at 8:42 PM

Bill Clinton: Why doesn’t anyone believe we were poor?

A better question:

Why does anyone believe anything they say?

From lying under oath…
to the Tuzla Dash…
to wagging his finger at us (“that woman, Miss Lewinski”)…
they are both, as William Safire said of Hillary, congenital liars.

itsnotaboutme on June 24, 2014 at 8:45 PM

Almost all of their supposed post Presidential debt was legal fees racked up during their various legal and impeachment difficulties.

djaces on June 24, 2014 at 8:28 PM

These grifters were shaking down their contributors for donations to their legal defense fund, to the tune of several million dollars. Yeah, they were in debt but they were getting others to pay it off.

PatMac on June 24, 2014 at 8:47 PM

Hmmm. . . Wonder how they qualified for a $2 million loan if they were dirt poor.

COgirl on June 24, 2014 at 8:49 PM

I’m not surprised Hillary is tone deaf with this stuff, but Bill is a major league politician with real skills and even he can’t resist trying to pretend they were poor. The dude made $400k/yr (first president at the new rate, I believe) and was there 8 years. That’s a lot of dough. What were their expenses during those 8 years ? Zero for housing. Zero for food. Zero for telecom and entertainment. Zero for auto/transportation. Almost none of the expenses of normal people. Yep he had a big legal bill to deal with, and a Legal Defense Fund that took care of a lot of it. Hillary had locked up an $8 Million book deal before they left the WH.
I can’t wait for the next installment of Hill-Bill the shack-dwelling bumpkins.

mdavt on June 24, 2014 at 8:52 PM

This man could come in and offer to pay cash.
I’d still demand two forms of ID.

TimBuk3 on June 24, 2014 at 8:57 PM

Why Bill?
Because you’re a lying POS, that’s why.

Another Drew on June 24, 2014 at 9:01 PM

Poor???

That’s what my Combat Systems supply budget was when your azz waz in office, and we rolled from closed base, to closed base.. Begging borrowing and stealing to stay functional.

Underway 86% of the year, running at 50-60% of personel required.

Port and Starboard watches. 6 on, 6 off. 12 on 12 off on Sunday.

“Unusually arduous sea duty”

3 years, 4 months of it, bubba. Straight.

The Chaiplain lived on my boat in port. Suicides and divorces were the order of the day.

wolly4321 on June 24, 2014 at 9:02 PM

Compared to some of their oil tic friends, partners and connections, I can see why they don’t feel well off.

BL@KBIRD on June 24, 2014 at 9:12 PM

The face-lift jobs on both Clintons must have cost a fortune. Regardless, if there’s a legal financial planning strategy that only the wealthiest Americans CAN use to avoid paying their full freight – good for them. By the way, what exactly does this author believe the Clintons “full freight” is? What’s their “fair share” ?

lel2007 on June 24, 2014 at 9:14 PM

celt on June 24, 2014 at 8:34 PM

Channeling your inner Bill O’Reilly. Try to stay on topic!

dmann on June 24, 2014 at 9:29 PM

They only have a few hundred million people…it’s not like they are rich, rich. The pay taxes just like the little people!

trs on June 24, 2014 at 9:32 PM

Bill Clinton: Why doesn’t anyone believe we were poor?

The “Bill Clintoon slept here” marker outside every brothel on Earth is a clue.

viking01 on June 24, 2014 at 9:38 PM

If you make $200,000 double the median income, triple, quaduple? for one speech and you complain about your finances, you are out of touch.

There is a difference between being poor because you don’t have money, and being poor because you can’t manage money, or your wants are always exceeded by your income.

I think the Clinton’s wants are always exceeded by their income, and they can’t manage money.

Hillary makes $200,000 for a speech. Who in the world would claim poverty about making money that easily?

petunia on June 24, 2014 at 9:38 PM

I’m retired….. I should be so poor as these scum.

ultracon on June 24, 2014 at 9:38 PM

…Bullshit Billy!

JugEarsButtHurt on June 24, 2014 at 9:39 PM

Clinton may not be able to convince anyone here,with good reason, but wasn’t the lighting fantastic? That was my boss! Go LSI Denver! We do republicans, too, so give us a call, Cory Gardner!

timsullivan4 on June 24, 2014 at 9:40 PM

But was is dint-dint?

AltTuning on June 24, 2014 at 9:50 PM

Can’t imagine why ordinary people are a bit skeptical of the Clintons’ po’ mouthin’.

I submit that until you are facing down a long week to payday, forced to make dinner for 4 out of what’s left in the cupboard (and what’s left is dry spaghetti, mayonnaise, one egg, dill pickles and graham crackers) any loose talk about dead broke will not impress the proletariat.

Or possibly we could use the Top Ramen scale; how many days in a row did Bill and Hill have only raman noodles available to eat after they left the White House? (I have no idea what the record is.)

More interesting question: are there really simpletons out there who are buying this? Verbie? noparmesan?

Dolce Far Niente on June 24, 2014 at 9:52 PM

Poor bubba he had to go back to trailer trash pickups after he left office. Thats a real sign of being dead broke. For awhile i bet it was rough going missing out on those $1000 a night gals you were used to.

jaywemm on June 24, 2014 at 9:53 PM

They must really be worried if they have to roll Bill out this early in the game.

airupthere on June 24, 2014 at 10:00 PM

I believe the Top Ramen scale is a metric worthy of pursuing. It even makes for a great interview question. ” how long, sir, was Top Ramen the only dietary option under your living circumstances at the time?” And anyone who has ever been through college can identify with this metric! Even most liberals. Kudos to you, Dolce far niente, you are a scholar and a gentleman. HotAir: you need a Top Ramen Scale Chart. Like, now, dude.

timsullivan4 on June 24, 2014 at 10:09 PM

Thanks Willie. After tonight we can use the laugh.

Tinker on June 24, 2014 at 10:12 PM

Of course we think you’re “poor” Bill … a poor excuse for a man, a poor husband and a poor liar!

kregg on June 24, 2014 at 10:26 PM

If Hillary is as sick as they say and needs care, not stress, the fact Willie is pushing this puts him in the same boat as John Edwards.

formwiz on June 24, 2014 at 11:19 PM

Everyday you jive some jackhole to pay you 200K for some stupid irrelevant speech. Billy, you ain’t poor. So don’t act surprised, when we don’t play along.

steveracer on June 24, 2014 at 11:24 PM

same reason people didn’t believe you when you said you didn’t have sexual relations with that woman.

pc253 on June 25, 2014 at 12:11 AM

The face-lift jobs on both Clintons must have cost a fortune. Regardless, if there’s a legal financial planning strategy that only the wealthiest Americans CAN use to avoid paying their full freight – good for them. By the way, what exactly does this author believe the Clintons “full freight” is? What’s their “fair share” ?

lel2007 on June 24, 2014 at 9:14 PM

They also had extensive work done on their daughter. One year she looked like Webster Hubbell, and the next year she didn’t.

slickwillie2001 on June 25, 2014 at 12:22 AM

A beautiful example of someone living a life of fantasy.

mixplix on June 25, 2014 at 3:56 AM

“It is factually true that we were several million dollars in debt,”

That depends on the the definition of “is” and what we mean by “true” with regard to “fact”, doesn’t it?

virgo on June 25, 2014 at 4:48 AM

This man could come in and offer to pay cash.
I’d still demand two forms of ID.

TimBuk3 on June 24, 2014 at 8:57 PM

And run the cash through a UV exposure box.

WryTrvllr on June 25, 2014 at 7:19 AM

They’re both out of touch.

sadatoni on June 25, 2014 at 7:45 AM

oh poor clintons, worth millions
get millions in book advance and have a ghost writer do the work
get 200 grand for hillary and 500 grand for slick willie to READ a 90 minute speech

They claim to be for the poor but want the make the laws for the middle class to pay for it.

ole slick willie is right NOW getting into trust so he does not have to PAY HIS FAIR SHARE ON TAXES.

she is a bossy liar who has a bad heart and can have a stroke

he is a sexual preditor and a rapist of his staff

sniffles1999 on June 25, 2014 at 8:03 AM

Gee, Bubba, could it possibly be because your personal finances are a well-known matter of public record and anyone with a semblance of a brain can tell the both of you are lying about it – once again?

PJ Emeritus on June 25, 2014 at 11:07 AM

Why don’t people believe either Clinton? Persistent psychopathic lying and a history of corruption, degeneracy, immorality and self aggrandizement might be contributing factors.

MaiDee on June 25, 2014 at 12:36 PM

What a LYING SCUM, they had a Legal Defense Fund set up at LEAST $8 MILLION dollars. Not to mention the $8 MILLION dollar ADVANCE for Hillary and $15 MILLION dollar Advance for the other lying Clinton, billy bob!

Kapos on June 25, 2014 at 1:00 PM

The instinct among Democratic politicians to one-up each other by inaccurately asserting a claim to poverty is an inexplicable one. They are sacrificing authenticity for the sake of appealing to the Democratic primary electorate.

Huh? The donkey party faithful are the only ones that the donkey party leadership have been talking to for some time now. They never speak “to” conservatives, only “about” them, and they have given up on the middle.

Spurius Ligustinus on June 25, 2014 at 1:19 PM

So now conveniently it is NOT about “tearing down the rich” or income disparities/gaps/inequality, it is about “bringing up the poor” ….because tearing down the rich would bring everyone down. He actually said this and there was no shock or audience gasps? No follow up question to this whatsoever?

No one is going to call him out on a complete reversal/rebuttal to the entire Leftist philosophy heard daily for decades?

nottakingsides on June 25, 2014 at 4:28 PM

How the hell were they poor?

Clinton was earning $400,000 for 8 years!

LurkerDood on June 25, 2014 at 8:43 PM